'Deadpool 2' director gives an update on the 'Fast and Furious' spin-off movie he's making with The Rock and Jason Statham

YouTube/Universal(L-R) Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in ‘The Fate of the Furious.’
  • “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch gives an update on the status of “Hobbs and Shaw,” the first spin-off movie from the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.
  • Leitch also explains why working with Ryan Reynolds has prepared him to work with the social-media savvy Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

David Leitch may only have two feature films under his belt, but he’s quickly becoming one of the most sought-after directors of action movies working today.

With the release of the highly anticipated “Deadpool 2,” coming Friday, Leitch has proven with movie number three that he’s not scared of the big stage – as it’s destined to dethrone box-office champ “Avengers: Infinity War” and score a huge box-office opening weekend.

But he’s not ready to sit back and take in his good fortune. He’s gearing up for his next movie.

Leitch has signed on to direct the first spin-off of Universal’s popular “Fast and the Furious” franchise, “Hobbs and Shaw,” which will put the spotlight on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw.

Deadpool 2 fox20th Century FoxDavid Leitch (R) on the set of ‘Deadpool 2.’

Both have been in multiple movies in the “Fast” franchise, but the two characters shined as an unlikely tandem in “The Fate of the Furious,” and now they are getting their own movie.

“Dwayne and Jason’s chemistry in that movie were some of my favourite stuff out of it,” Leitch told Business Insider while doing press for “Deadpool 2” on Tuesday. “So to be able to spin something off and make it my own imprint in that universe, that’s exciting.”

Cameras don’t begin running until September, but Leitch said there’s a working draft of the script and is excited about the process right now of crafting the story – especially with the screenwriter the movie brought on.

Chris Morgan is the writer and one of the producers. He’s written a majority of the [‘Fast and Furious’] movies,” Letich said. “So we’re having fun with that process right now.”

Recently Johnson posted a picture on Instagram of him with Leitch and Statham, and wrote in the caption: “Been wanting to work with David for years now. Very talented and knows how to create and shoot bad arse, cool and FUN characters.”

HOBBS & SHAW. Lotta fun w/ my brothas @jasonstatham & director, @davidmleitch in our production meeting. Scroll left and see what happens when I whisper under my breath, “Smile for the camera you bald Harry Potter bitch!” And he says – Yeah clearly that extra small shirt is cutting off your brain circulation you big asshole. All while our phenomenal director keeps his poker face knowing he’s gonna have the time of his life directing our film. Been wanting to work with David for years now. Very talented and knows how to create and shoot bad ass, cool and FUN characters. He directed JOHN WICK, ATOMIC BLONDE and next week his new movie, DEADPOOL 2 looks to be huge with audiences worldwide. We have a lot of fun surprises in store with our movie and what an opportunity for us to smartly build out our beloved Fast and Furious franchise with our spinoff. We’re pumped to shoot and most importantly, THANK YOU FANS for all the love, support and excitement. Shooting starts this September! #HobbsAndShaw #DavidLeitch #ChrisMorgan #NealMoritz #HiramGarcia #SevenBucksProds #UniversalStudios

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

When asked if working with someone as social-media savvy as Johnson would take some getting used to, Leitch said the experience of working with Ryan Reynolds on “Deadpool 2” was a good primer.

“I think when you look at how Ryan and Dwayne handle social media and use it as a promotion of their art, they’re both really great at it,” Leitch said, who admitted that Reynolds’ intimate involvement in the marketing strategy of “Deadpool 2” was something he’d never experienced on a movie before. “So there are a lot of lessons learned from Ryan in this experience that hopefully I can take that on to the experience I’m going to have with Dwayne and Jason.”

“Hobbs and Shaw” is slated for release in July 2019.

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